It is not every day that we get a release from Tunisia, and it is even less common that it is actually pretty good. Today we have Ayyur with their highly atmospheric and experimental Black Metal unleashing their two-song EP “Balkarnin”. With a knack for cavernous atmospheres and punishingly slow riffs, this release is one strong introduction to this very promising band.
The EP sets a very hypnotic mood with the slow riffs of “I”, combining them with harsh vocals and a certain Doom vibe. As the guitar leads develop into an atmospheric interlude, the band creates a commanding atmosphere that is both bone chilling and dense. Without much flair or additional elements the rudimentary rawness of the band’s sound is quite direct and effective.
Unleashing a highly mysterious and depraved orgasmic aural assault, today we have Finnish outfit Oranssi Pazuzu and their highly expected fifth full-length release “Mestarin Kynsi”. Having sonically abused all their fans for the last decade, the band continues their musical exploration with 51 minutes of music spread in six captivating tracks. If you think the band was weird and trippy in the past, wait until you listen to this release.
Opening with the trance-inducing “Ilmestys”, the band slowly builds up and introduces their funky mixture of effects, sickening vocals and crushing guitar work. If the first track didn’t create enough anxiety in the listener, “Tyhjyyden sakramentti” continues the aural exploration with chaotic ravaging passages filled with weird distortions and an overall sense of urgency that creates a very demoralizing and brutal atmosphere.
After receiving tons of Black and Death Metal releases in the last few weeks, it is quite refreshing to get something completely different in Myth of I’s self-titled debut release. Featuring a very improvisational and fluid approach to songwriting, the band unleashes nearly 50 minutes of highly technical instrumental Metal music. Ranging from Progressive Metal to Technical Death Metal (minus the vocals), this release perfectly blends a wide gamut of styles under a cohesive and catchy umbrella.
Opening with a dreamy intro, the album gets in full swing with the fabulous “The Illustrator” and its crafty guitar wizardry. Full of tempo changes and intricate drum patterns, this release perfectly leads to heavier and more experimental pieces like “Cherophobia” and “Obsidian Vale”. Doing away with traditional song structures, the tracks in this release flow freely weaving back and forth between proggy influences and heavier counterparts.
Unleashing a very refined futuristic release, today we have Italy’s one-man band Master Boot Record and their latest release “Floppy Disk Overdrive”. Besides the massive geekiness of the band’s name, concept and the album’s song names, this instrumental release is quite enjoyable and engaging. With the current state of affairs in the world, it is refreshing to be able to escape into a dystopian world with the songs in this release.
Opening with the Blade Runner-esque “ANSI.SYS”, the mood is set to be a very dynamic and engaging one. For those that are not followers of Video Game Metal/Nintendocore, bands like Vomitron and others have been releasing similar 8-bit/MIDI inspired music, but Master Boot Record takes it to a whole new level with additional influences and a bigger and more bombastic theatrical vibe, as shown in songs like “EDIT.COM”, “DEFRAG.EXE” and “DISPLAY.SIS”.
As a very fitting soundtrack to the current global chaos, Gautier Serre’s Igorrr unleashes their most chaotic and yet brilliantly crafted release to date: “Spirituality and Distortion”. Featuring an amalgamation of completely disparate elements like Baroque and Classical Music, Metal and Electronic Music, this release delivers nearly one hour of crazily addictive music. For those that have not been initiated into Igorrr’s madness, this album will definitely blow you away, if you have an open mind.
The album opens on a very mystical note, as it slowly transitions into heavy riffs and the angelic vocals of Laure Le Prunenec. The male vocals are nicely handled by Laurent Lunoir, who turns into a very unique beast-like performer on their live shows, and perfectly adds dynamism to the bands music. Listeners do not have to wait longer to hear Igorrr at its finest with the mesmerizing “Nervous Waltz”, a track that blends lush vocal arrangements, dramatic instrumentation, and electronic madness to perfection.
Unleashing a truly unique level of aural abuse, today we have UK’s Lychgate and their new label debut EP “Also sprach Futura”. If you think you have heard weird stuff before, this release will re-define the concept for you. Featuring four tracks of pure madness, this band combines elements from Doom/Jazz/Progressive/Brutal Death Metal, and pretty much everything else into an amalgamation of sonic abusive tracks.
The release opens with the cirquesque “Incarnate”, incorporating brutal guitar riffs with chaotic tempo changes and funky organ/mellotron atmospherics. Taking this track over the top are the throat singing moments that just add more confusion and madness between the Black Metal-ish harshness and funky atmospherics. Things settle down a bit on the interesting “Progeny of the Singularity”, where the band starts with brutal onslaughts and slowly evolves into an eerie sickening atmospheric passage , just as the brutality returns to close this magically weird piece.
Crafting a haunting atmosphere with crushing walls of sound and eerie synths, today we have Insect Ark and their crushing release “The Vanishing”. With a certain minimalist and drone edge, the band’s music creates cavernous avenues for waves of distorted bass and lap steel guitar. For fans of bands like Earth, Jex Thoth, SubRosa, all minus the vocals, this release will command your attention and take it for a warm and fuzzy trippy ride.
The album kicks off with the interstellar antics of the crafty “Tectonic”, a piece that nicely builds as the bass guitar leads into crafty percussions and dreamy synths. The duo’s ability to slowly build tension and atmosphere is quite impressive as tracks like “Three Gates” slowly build from minimalist passages to fuzzy onslaughts that are both playful and yet pummeling. The experimental component of the band’s music allows them to create tracks that are highly hypnotic, like the trance inducing “Philae” and the slow burning “Danube”.
With most bands happy to just crank out full-length after full-length releases, Black Metal pioneer Ihsahn decided to challenge himself and do the opposite: break up a full-length release and deliver it as two EP’s. In “Telemark” we can hear some of his most rawest and direct compositions in quite a while, showing that this experiment has allowed Ihsahn to focus on the duality of his sound in compartmentalized approaches.
The incisive opener “Stridig” perfectly balances raw and punishing BM onslaughts with trippy Saxophone elements and a very dreamy and yet aggressive stance. With all the lyrics in Norwegian, this track has a brilliant pace and feels like yet another exploratory dimension to Ihsahn’s unique musical vision. With a bluesy aggression to it, “Nord” perfectly combines heavy riffs with crafty tempo changes and a sultry hypnotic pace thanks to a piercing bass guitar line and sinister drum patterns.
Featuring two of our favorite artists, this Sylvaine and Unreqvited EP kicks off our 2020 reviews with a bang. Showing a slightly different face of both artists, this release will submerge the listener into their ethereal realms while delivering over 25 minutes of dreamy music. If you are a fan of either, you can’t miss out on this very magical release.
Opening the EP we have Sylvaine with “No More Solitude”, an acoustic piece that is full of raw emotion and dramatic piano passages. With “Falling”, we get a darker and more solemn piece that is nicely adorned by Sylvaine’s dreamy vocals arrangements and minimalist guitars. Both tracks are devoid of Metal elements, showing a more fragile side of the artist.
If you can imagine what Kayo Dot, Maudlin of the Well, Ephel Duath and Subterranean Masquerade would sound all blended together, then you would get close to just how expansive In Human Form sounds. Unleashing their three-songs, 49 minute opus “III”, this band pushes all boundaries into completely new dimensions and creates some of the most unique sounding Metal we have ever heard.
The release opens with the 18-minute tour de force “Apocrypha Carrion”, where the band starts off with furious guitar riffs and a very intense pace. The screamed vocals are quite hectic and very fitting for such chaotic music, but what really draws the listener is the funky subtle tempo changes mixed in with some more drastic near full-stop switches. We particularly enjoy the jazzy elements that transition the song’s multiple movements from chaos, to lush beauty and down the rabbit hole again.